Marine Pilots Remembered

Memorial service for two men killed in mid-air collision

By C. Garcia
|  Thursday, Nov 19, 2009  |  Updated 9:21 PM PDT
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Marine Pilots Remembered

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Marine Pilots Remembered

Family and comrades pack the Camp Pendleton chapel for two marine pilots.
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Family and comrades packed the Camp Pendleton chapel Thursday morning for a memorial service honoring two marine pilots killed in a mid-air collision off the San Diego coast.

Major Samuel Leigh was remembered as a combat veteran who relished the opportunity to serve his country.

1st Lt. Thomas Claiborne was remembered as specific, technical and precisely perfect in everything that he did.

Both pilots were with Marine Light Attack Helicopter Squadron 469, based out of Camp Pendleton.

On October 29th, they were flying in formation with three other helicopters, conducting routine training operations about 15 miles off San Clemente Island late last month, when they were involved in a mid-air collision with a Coast Guard C-130.  Seven people in that plane died.

The cause of the mishap is still under investigation.

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